tv The Ed Show MSNBC October 30, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
minute. >> the last minute. it's harder to rebut. and one other part of this i was going to say is that the corporations here who are friends of mitt romney and who often are on mitt romney's side say they benefit from his administration. the corporations good evening, americans. welcome to "the ed show" from new york. cleanup begins after sandy decimates towns and leaves millions in the dark. we'll have the latest on the damage and the government federal response. what do you think of the federal response now? has it been good? this is "the ed show." let's get to work. my message to the federal government, no bureaucracy, no red tape, get resources where they are needed as fast as possible. >> president obama has put disaster relief in high gear as millions across the east coast are in peril. >> the cooperation has been
outstanding. >> romney's silence has been deafening. >> would you eliminate aid to fema if you were president? >> as hurricane sandy wreaks havoc across the northeast, first responders, nurses and neighbors have stepped up in tremendous acts of heroism. we'll take a look at these brave men and women tonight. but first we'll bring you the latest on the disaster across the northeast. >> good to have you with us tonight. thanks for watching. the aftermath of sandy is coming into focus and the destruction is heartbreaking. sandy's path devastated miles of shoreline and major communities. officials in nine states are reporting 44 deaths related to the storm. 23 of those here in the state of new york. it's estimated to cost between $30 and $50 billion.
you only need to look at the images of the flooding to see why. a 14-foot storm surge in lower manhattan roadways were overflowing. tunnels filled with water. streets were submerged. most of lower manhattan continues to be without power at this hour. the new york city subway system is still not running as workers deal with the flooded tunnels and the effects of salt water. the underground path train connecting new york to new jersey is still washed out. this photo captures the peak hour of flooding at the world trade center construction site. a six alarm inferno raised in breezy point. more than 80 homes were burned beyond repair. more than 100 homes were damaged.
amazingly, there were no fatalities. may r your michael bloomberg said there were at least 23 fires throughout new york, including this one. you're watching an explosion at a con edison power station on the east side. con edison said this is the worst situation they have ever had to deal with. overall, more than 8 million people are without power up and down the east coast. travelers continue to be stranded more than 18,000 flights across the country have been cancelled. this photo from the jetblue terminal shows why. president obama arrived at red cross head quarters in washington, d.c. as relief ernts still continue. >> this storm is not over. we have gotten briefings from the national hurricane center. it's still moving north. there are still communities that
could be affected. i want to emphasize there's still risks of flooding and downed power lines, risks of high winds, so it's very important for the public to continue to monitor the situation in your local community, listen to your state and local officials, follow instructions. >> the president told officials to do whatever it takes to keep people safe and restore services. >> my instructions to the federal agency has been do not figure out why we can't do something. i want you to figure out how to do something. i want you to cut through red tape. >> nowhere is the power of sandy more apparent than in the coast of new jersey. atlantic city is under water. the boardwalk at seaside heights was obliterated. aerial footage shows miles and miles of destruction with no hope of salvaging lost property. the new jersey coastline has been completely changed.
president obama arrives tomorrow. chris christie surveyed the damage from the air and then consoled storm victims on the ground. >> it's a very difficult day. very difficult day. >> the scope of this storm is absolutely stunning. aside from delivering high winds and driving rain, it was also dumping snow on areas of west virginia. the cleanup from sandy has just begun. state and federal officials are urging patience. the full extent won't be known for weeks to come. we have two reports tonight. i'm joined by news correspondent jay gray live in battery park in lower manhattan.
also with us is correspondent ron allen who joins us from point pleasant beach, new jersey. mr. gray, great to have you us with tonight. you are right at the heart of the devastation in lower manhattan. how are the people dealing with that? a lot of people have evacuated, but there are still quite a few down there. >> reporter: it was really interesting o to see how that played out today. i think there's still a stunned silence here. the power is out. the traffic lights are out. there's no congestion. a lot of the businesses are closed. so a lot of people really just looking and not believing what they see at this point. they did come down to the sea wall to look at what had happened. the water going into places that had never been here. 14 feet over the wall.
downed trees and a lot of lifetime new yorkers getting pictures of those trees with the statue of liberty in the background and talking about how they never thought they would see anything like this. but they are new yorkers, so they are quick to point out that we are resilient and will get through this. they are understanding that it's going to take some time to bounce back from this. >> are the waters receding, jay? >> reporter: yeah, they are. in some areas that's going to take a lot longer. most of the water gone from battery park. the subways are the main issue. those are the veins that pump the heart of this city. they are working around the clock to try to clean things out there. but understand this wasn't just water in there. service salt water that was delivered to this area. and there are electronics down there. so that's going to be a major issue. they have to get it out and have to test everything. they are going to bring the trains back online when they can.
the good news is some bus service was restored today. more tomorrow. they are going to alter some routes and try to get people back out and into the city once businesses reopen. but that's just going to take some time and in some cases much more than a week or so. >> the fact is they just don't know. this salt water is so terribly damaging to any kind of quick. jay gray, thanks for joining us tonight. let's go live now to ron allen with us tonight. he's coming to us from point pleasant beach, new jersey. ron, governor christie says there's just no comparison for the damage that he has seen on the shoreline. your impressions, do you agree? >> reporter: well, i've seen this close up and personal. there's just utter devastation as far as the eye can see. we're standing on what used to be a parking lot of this hotel behind me. the hotel was completely destroyed. the front of it that faces the ocean is completely ripped apart.
it was boarded up, but that didn't make any difference at all. what i'm standing on was a parking lot that's now covered with sand. the sand is about two feet deep or higher in some places. the ocean is a block in that direction. and last night the ocean came roaring down the streets into this town. the water was waist deep or higher at times and completely flooded this area. there were some dunes that were supposed to be the protection for the town. but they were completely overwhelmed by the storm. sandy hit about an hour or so south of here in atlantic city. that's how close it was. even as the storm was baring down, you could feel the winds and rains in the hours before it made landfall. but here just utter devastation everywhere. all the sand is piled up. they are trying to make way for vehicles to get through. it's as if there was a blizzard and they were trying to move snow, but it's sand. you'd see flooding from rivers, from the bays, and it's the same
story up and down the coast from sandy hook to the south. there's just complete devastation up and down the jersey shore. >> any speculation or any word tonight on when the residents will be able to start coming back? >> it's hard to know. i'm sure that's going vary from community to community. there are some people who stayed here. this was an area that's evacuated and it's quiet. there's no one here for the most part. it's completely dark. there are no services. we can smell gas in the air in some neighborhoods as we were walking around trying to get a sense of things. it's going to be awhile before it's safe to come back. and when people come back, they are going to be completely overwhelmed by what they find. >> do you get a sense of where do you start? there's so much devastation and so many things have gone wrong in the path of this storm as far as the devastation left behind. >> reporter: they are going to start at the beginning and go to
the end. people here are hardy and are determined. people who survived this are grateful for that. and there was some sense of optimism here. you could find that when you talked to people who stayed through the storm. i don't think people are going to try not to let this get them down. but it's a very difficult thing. just think of the other ways they have been set back. schools are closed for a few days. people haven't gotten to work. the normal rhythm of life has been upset. and the physical geography has been changed. homes have been destroyed. there are 2.4 million customers without power here. that's about 60% of the population of new jersey. the governor warned even before this happened that it might take a week or longer to get the lights and power back on. we'll see. it's great to hear promises of federal aid, but when you get on the ground here, it's going to take awhile for all that to get
here. and it's just going to take awhile and people will have to endure that. >> that's a mouthful, no doubt about it, as the devastation continues and the rebuilding, a lot of frustration will set in and patience will be the key. ron allen reporting tonight from point pleasant beach, new jersey, thank you for joining us. coming up, the middle class heros of hurricane sandy. we'll talk about the men and women helping millions of americans in the aftermath of the storm. find out what's at stake for them in this election when we come back.
do you mind? got to make sure this is -- oh. uh... okay. everybody say "awkward." protecting your family fun. now, that's progressive. call or click today. president obama thanks the first responders who risked their lives to save others during the storm. john nickels on the middle class heroes. and chris christie praises the president and the federal government's response to the storm. while mitt romney is silent on his plans to privatize fema. we'll have the details. and with one week before the election, what effect will the storm have on the campaign trail?
i don't know how she does it. with nice'n easy, all they see is you. thanks for staying with us tonight. police and firefighters are working to get families out of the flooded neighbors tonight. rescue workers carried children to safety in little ferry just a few hours ago. hundreds of thousands of firefighters, police officers and nurses continue to work in harm's way tonight. they are members of america's middle class and they are the heroes in the wake of this storm. nearly 200 firefighters
struggled to put out this six-alarm fire in breezy point queens early this morning. the neighborhood flooded and 80 houses went up in flames. the firefighters abandon their trucks and waded in carries equipment on their backs. this was just one of 23 fires in the new york city area last night. at almost the same time, one of the city's premier medical centers lost backup power in lower manhattan. nurses, doctors and paramedics had to get 215 patients to neighboring hospitals. we are told tonight that all of the babies made it okay. those nurses and doctors got the patients to safety at the height of the storm. president obama is calling all of these workers heroes. >> during the darkness of the storm, i think we also saw what's brightest in america. i mean i think all of us have been shocked by the force of mother nature as we watch it on
television. at the same time, we have also seen nurses at nyu hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety. we have seen brave firefighters in queens waist deep in water battling infernos and rescuing people in boats. one of my favorite stories is down in north carolina, the coast guard going out to save a sinking ship. they sent a rescue swimmer out and the rescue swimmer said, hi, i'm dan, i understand you guys need a ride. that kind of spirit of resilience and strength, but most importantly looking out for one another, that's why we always bounce back from these kinds of disasters. >> let's bring in john nickels, correspondent to nation magazine and author of the book "uprising." i cannot get away from this story because the american middle class has been at the
focal point of many conversations. this is the economic portion of america that's been asked to do more. this is the portion of america that's had their voices in the workplace attacked, their pensions cut, their wages sliced and yet we see when there's an emergency as what we are seeing with this storm, they step up and they are americans. what does it say about this country in the middle of this hot, political debate that performances such as this are delivered by these americans? >> it's pretty inspiring, ed. you're right, in many ways this election is a referendum on not just government. it's on the human infrastructure of public services in this country. the people who go out and make sure that when you go to sleep at night, and a storm is coming in, that that next morning, you'll see a road crew out there clearing the road.
you'll see ditch diggers out there kind of moving all kinds of debris. firefighters and cops, scientists and technicians, nurses and doctors, people who will run not away from the crisis, but toward it. and they will do so because they understand a very old premise of the american experiment. our constitution in its preamble talks about protecting and ensuring domestic tranquility. what they are talking about is making sure that we have an infrastructure of public service in this country that is ready to jump into action and to protect us all. we saw that last night. we saw it through the night. i followed a lot of what was happening on msnbc, of course, but also on the international association of firefighters website. they had tweets and facebook
messages coming in from up and down the east coast from crews in fairfax county and in queens and along the jersey shore. what you realized is that we've got union members, firefighters, cops, nurses and others who are passionate about doing their job and it's amazing to me, startling to me that we have public officials who would attack them. romney has, and i'm going to politicize this tonight, and i'm not going to make any bones about it because the conversation in this country has to dismantle unions. and where this storm hit, many are union folk. many of them risk their lives last night in the line of duty and these are the people that are being vilified by many politicians and being viewed as a problem. they are not giving up for america while the top 2% is
asking for even more. i mean i think the conversation begs for a priority list and for us to point out exactly who is doing the job in this country. who are we calling on when lives are on the line? when there's a disaster, who do we count on? it's not the top 2%. it's the people on the line getting it done. john, great to have you with us. i appreciate your time. thanks so much. governor chris christie of new jersey praises president obama and good government. so where does that leave mitt romney? joan walsh joins me for that. and lies from mitt romney reach a whole new level. he continues to run bonus commercials in ohio even though he knows they are false. nina turner and chris redfern are here with reaction. stay tuned. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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welcome back to "the ed show." good government was in full effect and frankly mitt romney is on the wrong side of it. governor chris christie of new jersey praised the federal government and president obama in particular. >> i was on the phone for the third time yesterday, last night with the president of the united states. he called me at midnight last night. he accelerated the major disaster declaration for new jersey without the usual red tape. i can't thank the president
enough for that. signed that this morning. so i have to say this. the cooperation has been great with fema here on the ground. and the cooperation from the president of the united states has been outstanding. he deserves great credit. >> mitt romney, on the other hand, cannot run from his declaration about fema during the campaign. >> every time you have an occasion that takes something from the federal government and sends it to the states, that's in the right direction. if you can send it to the private sector that's even better. we should take all of what we're doing and say what are the things we're doing that we don't have to do and that's what we have to stop doing. we're borrowing more this year than we're taking in. we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. it's simply immoral. >> all that we're doing with the federal government is what he said. today romney held a storm relief
event in dayton, ohio, at the same site he planned to hold a campaign rally. the instinct to help people is always welcome. the red cross will be the first to say canned goods are not useful in a situation like this one. >> a lot of goods here. i know there's more coming in. we'll box these things up and put them on some trucks and we're going to send them into, i think new jersey is a site that can distribute these to people who need them. but also if you can write a check to american red cross, that's welcome as well. >> romney then loaded some of the goods on a truck along with rob portman of ohio. questions about fema dogged the candidate. >> governor, are you going to eliminate fema? >> let's turn to sam stein and also joan walsh. joan, let's go to you first.
this is where the bs meets the reality when it comes to mitt romney and what he really wants to do with fema. this puts the candidate in a tight spot, doesn't it? >> well, yes, of course, it does, ed. this moment really reminds me of that moment in 2008 when john mccain had his crazy reaction to the economic crash and wanted to suspend his campaign and go back to washington and looked like he doesn't understand what was at stake. mitt romney looked ridiculous at that rally today. he was talking about cleaning up a football field of rubbish. and i think it's civilly when you can't play politics. right now, we're having a debate over the future of our society. and things like this disaster relief are really quite pertinent. so it's not that he can't campaign, but go out there and
take questions about what you want to do with fema. go out and there and defend your me first, devolve to the states attitude. but he's scared and e he won't do it. >> this storm really seems to have taken the shirts off a lot of politicians. what we're really making of all of this, here's chris christie in a news conference before the storm yesterday. >> i should call him directly at the white house and he was going to be there and i should just not worry about dealing with anybody else, to call him. i appreciate that call from the president. >> quite a statement from a man who gave the rnc keynote address. >> on the one hand, it's quite a statement. on the other it's sad we have to cheer the limited instances of collaboration. especially in the wake of a crisis. in a normal political system, christie and obama could work together seamlessly, but we have
been in a system where there's a lot of partisanship that this is now the exception to the rule. with respect to what romney is doing, it's no fault of his own, i respect the generosity and the spirit behind trying to have these canned goods organized, these solicitations for the red cross, but he's not the president. and he's trying in some ways to become the president by calling governors and red states and organizing these events, but it doesn't fit you. >> if politics stops at the water's edge, why doesn't mitt romney just go see the devastation? if he wants to represent these americans and he wants to be the president of the united states and the largest storm on record that's hit landfall in a country, why wouldn't he go to the people and look them in the eye and say if i'm president, i'm going to be here for you.
i understand what you're going through right now. if i'm going to lead this country, i have to see this devastation. what's the political downside of that? >> because it could be one that they don't want him there because it distracts resources away from the setting. on the other hand, it's just what i said before. if he were to do stuff that a president would do, it would come off as overly political. i don't think that behooves him in this election. he's in a tough spot. anything is going to be seen through the lens of the election. anything obama does is seen as the duties of a president. >> joan, your thoughts? >> i think sam is letting him off the hook a little too easily. he's a smart man. you can figure out you don't need canned goods in a crisis. he told the story about people in cape cod bringing television sets for katrina victims. it was so detached from reality. and once again, it's the empathy
gap. he doesn't either have the judgment or the experience or the heart, i don't know what it is, to really know what's needed. you can campaign for the red cross and ask for donation, but even i knew it was ridiculous. >> he didn't have to do this in ohio at the site of a campaign event. that seemed inappropriate. >> excellent point. >> just happened to go to a swing state. >> if chris christie can put aside political conversation, why can't the leader of the republican party? i mean if this guy wants to be the leader of the free world, he's got to get face to face with the people going through the devastation. >> i certainly think he should answer questions, but the fema policy that's so obvious he needs to explain what me he meant in the debate. he avoided 14 questions on the fema policy, which is inappropriate. >> he's walking into a storm. good to have you with us. thank you. there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show."
stay with us. campaigning takes a break but romney's whoppers won't quit. >> obama took chrysler into bankruptcy and sold chrysler to italians who are going to build jeeps overseas. >> why the buckeye state isn't buying it. and coming up, richard is here with the latest on how hurricane sandy will affect the election. with six days out, america looks at which candidate they want in an emergency. >> cooperation has been great with fema here on the ground. and the cooperation from the president of the united states has been outstanding. he deserves great credit. [ male announcer ] free windows 8 training from your son. can you help me with something? nope! good talk. [ male announcer ] or free windows 8 training when you buy a computer at staples. another way staples makes it easier to upgrade. how did i get here?
with head & shoulders? since before jeans were this skinny... since us three got a haircut. since my first twenty-ninth birthday. [ female announcer ] head & shoulders. live flake free. welcome back to "the ed show." throughout this entire campaign mitt romney seems to have struggled with the truth. but his new jeep to china ad
campaign could be the biggest lie to date. romney is running a completely false commercial in ohio. it claims because of the auto loan, chrysler is plans to move jeep production to china. the claim is a flat out lie. after romney was told the ad was false, he doubled down and started running this radio commercial. >> barack obama says he saved the auto industry, but for who? ohio or china? under president obama gm cut 15,000 american jobs. but they are planning to double the number of cars built in china, which means 15,000 more jobs for china. and now comes word that chrysler plans to start making jeeps in, you guessed it, china. >> this radio spot is even more dishonest than the tv ad. not only does it double down on the jeep lie, but it suggests the auto loan didn't save the auto industry. general motors responded to the ad today saying "at this stage,
we're looking at a hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality. gm's creating jobs in the united states and repateuating profits back to this country should be a source of bipartisan pride." these ads had jeep employees scared about losing their jobs. so chrysler's ceo felt the need to set the record straight. he pointed out mitt romney's lie for the second time. in an e-mail to employees, he wrote "jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the united states and will constitute the backbone of the brand. it is inaccurate to suggest anything different." who do you want to believe? the guys running the company or mitt romney? these aren't the only lies that romney's campaign it pushing. they are training poll watchers to mislead voters in wisconsin.
any person who was a convicted felon cannot vote is what they were told. it's a flat out lie. in wisconsin felons can vote. meanwhile in ohio, the lies continue. former senator norm coleman told a group of voters that roe v. wade would be safe. then we'll pass a group campaigning for social conservatives declined to comment on his remarks. doesn't seem like they are on the same page. let's bring in nina turner. also the chairman of the ohio democratic party. great to have both of you with us. what does it say about him, his campaign and also the intelligence of ohio voters not being able to differentiate between the lies and truth. >> he has no shame and no soul. if you're lying in the beginning, you'll be lying in the end. it shows a sense of desperation
to try to invoke fear. they know the president threw a lifeline out to the auto industry where by one of every eight jobs in ohio, over 850,000 jobs, are linked to that industry. for them to try to scare the citizens of this state is despicable. this is the same governor that joined forces with republicans here and said he supported senate bill five which would have taken away collective bargaining rights. he's a liar. now only is jeep here to stay, but they are going to invest $500 million into that plant, ed. he's lying in the beginning and he will be lying all the way through this. >> i don't think the obama
campaign could hand a better skrift script to the romney people and say do this and implode. chris, what are you hearing out of toledo? are the people reacting to this and do you think the ads are having an impact? >> i live right down the road from the jeep plant. a state of the art facility was built about a decade ago with the support of a republican governor and wide support of the community. and thousands and thousands of jobs were saved because of it. let me remind you. general motors and fiat, which owns a share of chrysler which produces the brand jeep, these are publically-traded corporations with lives of workers at risk.
and you are greeted by a television commercial when you come home suggesting that your job is about to be shipped to china. mitt romney knows it's not true. if he doesn't think it's true, all he has to do is listen to the ceos of chrysler, of general motors, of ford who point out that this investment in the american automobile industry was right for ohio and right for the country. and in fact, jobs are going to be created at that jeep facility in north toledo and all across northern ohio. great cities like parma and cleveland benefitting because of the leadership of barack obama. >> it seems like there's no embarrassment on the part of the romney campaign to come back and say, we were wrong. the people who were actually running the company are telling the truth. they have no boundaries. but what about norm coleman, former senator of minnesota. he told a group of voters romney wouldn't reverse roe v. wade. >> women should not fall for it. he was interviewed where mike huckabee. he called it judicial activism.
women are not falling for it. in the state of ohio, 55% to 40%, women are in support of the president. we can't go backwards and we can't allow women to be treated like second-class citizens. you have a running mate of the governor that identified rape as a method of conception. they are absolutely insane. they have lost their minds and it is up to the voters in this state and this nation to find their minds, but find it somewhere else. it's despicable. the whole campaign is laced with lies. >> the stories out of wisconsin, and you're hearing similar things in ohio about poll-watching activity. how much of an impact is this going to be? >> we have lawyers ready to combat this. this is about the remaining 3 or 4% that are undecided and anything the romney campaign to do to distract and divide. i suspect over the course of the next six days, mitt romney is going to announce he's an unaffiliated voter from ohio just to seek those votes. we're ready for it. whether it's the billboards put
up in cleveland trying to dis tract the voters. whether it's the attacks on jeep workers, we're ready for it. >> nina turner and chris redfern, great to have you. coming up, john mccain uses a storm relief event to slam the president on libya. i'll have the video. stay tuned. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use, it's the ultimate combination of speed, small size, and low-cost printing.
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campaigns just one week from the the election. president obama cancelled campaign events in order to monitor recovery efforts. in an e-mail to supporters, his campaign manager asked for donations not for the the campaign, but for the american red cross stating soon enough we'll get back to work on the most campaign of our lifetime. but the most important thing at this moment is you and your loved ones are safe and the rest of us do what we can to speed the recovery. the romney campaign, on the other hand, found themselves struggling to find the right tone. in an effort to seem insensitive to the millions of americans affected by the storm, the romney camp cancelled appearances on monday and tuesday but rebranded others as storm relief events. senator john mccain spoke on behalf of governor romney and apparently missed the memo about putting politics aside. mccain slammed the president's
handling of the the attack on the american consulate in libya. >> this president is either engaged in a massive cover up deceiving the american people, or he's so grossly incompetent that he's not qualified to be commander-in-chief of our armed forces. >> or senator mccain certainly isn't bitter about losing to barack obama back in 2008. his decision to politicize what was allegedly supposed to be an apolitical gathering speaks volumes. tonight there are millions of americans being assisted by the federal government who i'm sure would argue with senator mccain's assessment of president obama as grossly incompetent. if you're looking for a way to help, consider donating to the red cross. you can visit their website at redcross.org. coming up, sandy's impact on the election. we're just one week away before the country goes to the polls. can the president go back to the campaign trail?
should he? should he stay on this assignment? richard wolffe weighs in next. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. in the big finish tonight, how do you campaign during a disaster? mitt romney had an answer. don't call it campaigning. romney called a rally in ohio today a storm relief event.
yet press badge is still referring to it as a romney victory rally. there were plenty of photo ops as well. romney has just a few days to get his message out. he hasn't been consistent in the past, so now what does he do? he's cancelled events today and tomorrow. he will survey damage in new jersey alongside republican governor chris christie. the president needs to show the country that government works and government resources are important. and when a big disaster strikes, you need the federal government to work with state and local government. now is the time for the president to show true leadership and i think he is. according to one republican and romney surrogate, he is. chris christie has praised efforts, but had a little patience for a fox news question about a possible photo op with mitt romney in the days to come. >> we hear that perhaps mr.
romney may do some storm-related events. is there any possibility that governor romney may go to new jersey to tour some of the damage with you? >> i have no idea nor am i the least bit concerned or interested. i have 2.4 million people out of power. i have devastation on the shore, floods in the northern part of my state. if you think i give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me. >> this storm is a wakeup call to those conservatives who want to leave disaster relief up to the states. turn it over to them. to those who want to privatize everything. the state of new jersey is overwhelmed. they don't have enough resources. the state's resources aren't enough to help those without power, to help those flooded out of their home. you need a total effort across the country in a crisis like this. that's why there is a federal government.
federal and local governments working together is the successful formula for the state of new jersey. it's going to take time. but to turn it over to the states and say you're on your own i think really is short sided. joining me tonight is richard wolffe, msnbc political analyst and vice president and executive director of msnbc.com. how do you campaign -- this is walking on hot coal. what's the right call here? >> first of all, you have to show what kind of leader you want to be. campaigns aren't just about getting elected. they are trying to project to the american people what kind of president you want to be. it's one thing for mitt romney to stand on stage with a microphone. if he wanted to show compassion, he should have done a photo op of helping people in need. put yourself in the zone and that's what presidents do. that's what this president is going to be doing with governor christie. you go there and look presidential and try to speak for the country. it's not just at this event.
any time current events have injected themselves into this election, governor romney has stumbled. he did it with the libya attacks. he wants the election to play itself out. rather than seeing this as a moment he can step up on stage and say this is the kind of leader i will be. >> is this a time where political sins can be forgiven? i mean you see chris christie and president obama working back and forth, the public sees this. this is really the way it's supposed to be, isn't it? >> it's not a moment for punishment or the accounting of past grievances. this is about practicalities and the extraordinary thing, we can set aside what's going to happen on the ground as important as it is. this president has denied any claim of bipartisanship for the last three or four years. that's the intentional policy of republicans. through mitch mcconnell on health care and here you have one of the most outspoken conservatives. going out there saying this president has done a wonderful job. when governor christie does
that, it says to undecided voters that tiny remains that those independents saying are you a polarizing figure or someone to bring the country together. if chris christie says he's a uniter, maybe there's something to this president that isn't being captured by the romney campaign. >> we have the first storm-related president obama attack ad. reportedly grover norquest group sent this flier to households in virginia. is this just the beginning? >> it is. but remember it's incredibly clungy. this is going out to homes in virginia where you have people still devastated by the storm. if this really is a genuine piece of listure, you have to wonder how did he get a reputation for being good at politics within. >> i don't know why mitt romney didn't just say a lot of you americans have donated to my campaign. we're talking billions of dollars worth of damage. why don't you give to the red